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Four new cafes and bars planned for Carlisle city centre

New life looks set to be breathed into Carlisle city centre with a host of new cafes and bars poised to open.

Jaeger shop photo
Carlisle's Jaeger shop

The former Jaeger shop, in Greenmarket, is to be converted into a cafe after council planners gave the go-ahead for neighbouring La Baguette Bar to extend into the three-storey building. It has been standing empty since the store closed in January.

And businessman John Van Lierop, who runs Gilded Lily, The Thin White Duke, Cafe du Monde and Concrete, is about to extend his empire with plans for a former food outlet on Devonshire Street. He wants to convert the former Donut site into a bar and has applied for a drinks and entertainment licence.

It comes just a month after Mr Van Lierop opened Cafe du Monde – a fine dining restaurant – in Friars Court, Carlisle. The 20-seater upmarket restaurant is based in premises formerly occupied by the Loaf ‘n’ Ladle cafe.

And in Cecil Street plans have been approved for another cafe bar. Work is ongoing to transform the former Noel Lancaster Chartered Accountant office into a cafe bar.

The Sage, next door to Gianni’s Italian restaurant, has been granted planning permission for a cafe bar on the ground floor and a flat above.

The cafe bar is expected to employ two full-time and four part-time staff and will trade between 7.30am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.

Carlisle City Council leader Joe Hendry was encouraged by the news.

He said: “It sounds very promising. I think genuinely that we are beginning to turn the corner. Changing the mix in the city centre is a very positive thing. I am very anxious to support businesses, shops and development in any way I can.”

Barnaby Bowman, who turned the derelict former White House in Warwick Road into the Andalusian bar three years ago, agrees that the city centre is changing.

He said: “It’s not been a grand plan but this area is more vibrant now and it all seems to be smart operators opening up here. They are more upmarket places and people don’t have to worry about fights breaking out.”

“The Carlisle nightlife has a new outlook and now the top end of town has its own feel.”

When the Madness gig at Carlisle Racecourse was cancelled, the city centre cashed in and the town heaved with revellers.

“When we first opened, the building where Nando’s is was empty and now we have the Thai restaurant nearby, Dempsey’s opposite and it looks like there will be the Revolution vodka bar next door to us. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned,” added Mr Bowman.

“The 21-year-olds and over come to the top of town and the teenagers stay in Botchergate.”

Councillors voted to grant planning permission for change of use for the Jaeger shop which McKnight & Son builders are renovating after hearing from planning officer Stephen Daniel that it would be a “good use” for the building.

“It would bring the building back into use and tidy it up,” he said.

They had concerns, however, about proposals from Chris Archibald – who runs the sandwich shop next door – to call it Chunky Chowder.

Belle Vue Labour councillor Jessica Riddle said: “It is a very visible site in Green Market right beside the Guildhall and facing the Old Town Hall. Any change would have to be sympathetic to the surroundings.

“Please, please tell me it is not going to be called Chunky Chowder.

“I really feel that’s not sympathetic. I hope somebody is kidding.”

She suggested that ‘The Guildhall Tearoom’ might be more appropriate.

Mr Archibald was unavailable for comment. It is understood he is on holiday abroad.

The cafe will seat up to 40 diners, 26 on the ground floor and 14 upstairs.There will be three full-time and four part-time jobs.

A new club, planned for Lowther Street, is also expected to open its doors next month. Work is underway to turn the former Social bar and Robertsons bakery into Chezmoi Carlisle.

Have your say

Personally I wouldn't go past Watts on Bank Street. He does real coffee, not this mass-produced stuff like you get at Costa, Starbucks et al.

Posted by Jeremy Fishwick on 2 August 2012 at 08:03

They will last until the grants run out.

Posted by Derek on 27 July 2012 at 13:43

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